Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hey everyone,

I wanted to explain some aspects of the current trial.

I'm not a lawyer, so feel free to correct me if you believe I'm wrong.

Presently, the government is presenting its case against Larken. The government is calling witnesses and asking them specific questions. These questions and the witnesses responses become the subject matter for cross examination. Larken can only ask questions on cross examination that relate to a question posed to the witness by the government or relate to an answer provided by the witness in response to one of the government's questions. Larken cannot wonder into new topics that were not part of the subject matter as defined above.

After the government rest its case, Larken will get his opportunity to call his witnesses and he can then introduce new topics and ask his witnesses any questions he wants. He may even be able to call the governments witnesses back to the stand to explore new subject matter that wasn't included in the government's presentation. If he did, the court would probably grant permission to treat them as hostile witnesses which would allow him to ask leading questions.

There are a whole bunch of other procedural rules, but I thought these basics might benefit some of you following this trial.

On another note, I would like to address the concern I've heard by some regarding the juries apparent lack of enthusiasm. Thus far, this jury has endured opening statements, wherein the government's attorney appeared weak and boring, and now a day of the government calling witnesses to confirm the obvious. Yes, Larken works. Yes, Larken had income. Yes, Larken used to file. These things Larken has already admitted via legal stipulations.

No wonder the jury is bored. I doubt intravenous injections of expresso could keep them awake through the government's side of this trial, so I wouldn't judge them on that.

Let's see how they respond after the government rest its case, and Larken takes control of the court room to present his defense.

2 Old Comments:

This is just a constructive comment about the blogs. I think what is really important, and I have only heard this addressed on one of Doug Kenline's blogs from yesterday, where there is a discussion of the evidence in the case and whta it is being used to prove. The elements of wilfull failure to file are (paraphrased):

1. There is a legal duty to file

2. Larken's situation tiggered the filing rquirement

3. Larken willfully violate that duty?

That is all that is really important from this part of the trial. If the government skips one of the elements then the case can be dismissed without Larken even putting on his case.

I am really curious how they are going to prove the first element (the legal requirement to file) and how Larken answers that.

OK, my prayers are with you all.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/10/2005 9:42 AM  

Doug K has said that the "wild card is the jury". The problem is that the typical jury does not know that they are in charge. In the Simkanin trial, the judge, in effect, directed the verdict by instructing the jury that Simkanin was, by law, required to withhold. Even though the jury asked to see that law, they were ignored. So the jury thought that if the judge said that "the law required Simkanin to withhold" and Simkanin admitted that he did not withhold, then Simkankn was guilty!

So the real wild card will be the judge and the instructions that he gives to the jury.

By Anonymous hank, at 8/10/2005 10:33 AM